Professor Erica McWilliam will present the 2016 AAIBS Speaker series on the topic Inquiry Learning in a digital environment: differentiation and the new routines.
Erica’s career has involved four decades as an Australian secondary teacher, teacher educator and writer, moving from two decades in the schooling sector to a professorial role as an educational leader in the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and in Singapore at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang University. She is now a Fellow of the Australian Council of Educators and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. She maintains a role as adjunct professor in the Creative Workforce 2.0 Research Program in the ARC’s Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology.
Erica is actively involved in linking the work of the Program with professional learning in schools in Australia and globally. She was Brisbane Girls Grammar School Scholar in Residence in 2010 and their Writer in Residence in 2012. Her extensive research and scholarship is well known for its focus on: (a) creative capacity building for 21st century living learning and earning (b) shifting classroom pedagogy from Sage on the Stage and Guide on the Side to Meddler in the Middle.
An inquiring disposition is fundamental to living, learning and earning well as we approach the third decade of this century. So teachers seeking to engage all of their students in inquiry learning need a repertoire of strategies designed to foster and nurture systematic curiosity rather than imitation and recall. Erica explores ways in which teachers can support and direct their students’ inquiry in an ecology of digital disruption and distractibility. Insisting that all classroom environments function best around facilitative routines, she elaborates on pedagogical routines that are characteristic of respect-rich, structure-rich and challenge-rich learning environments. The point, as she sees it, is not that teachers should simply be ‘going digital’, but ‘going pedagogical’.
Dr Erica McWilliam
Erica McWilliam (Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Creative Industries, QUT) is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of pedagogy with a particular focus on preparing young people for ‘over the horizon’ futures. In her numerous presentations to educational leaders, teachers, parents and students, she elaborates on the challenges faced by all those who are seeking to ensure that our young people will live, learn and earn well in this demanding century. In particular, she stresses the importance of providing ‘low threat, high challenge’ learning environments that assist young people to welcome error and the instructive complications of unfamiliarity and complexity. She has been instrumental in directing the Creative Workforce 2.0 Research Program in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, and has also performed professorial duties as an educational researcher at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. She is a Fellow of the Australian Council of Education, an Honorary Fellow of the Australia Council of Educational Leadership and an Associate Fellow of the Learning and Teaching Council of Australia. A recent sole-authored book, ‘The Creative Workforce: How to launch young people into high flying futures’, is published by UNSW Press, and number of her more recent papers are available on her website - http://www.ericamcwilliam.com.au/.
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